Brentano’s Lectures on Positivism and His Relationship to Ernst Mach

In Friedrich Stadler (ed.), Ernst Mach – Life, Work, Influence. Berlin: Springer Verlag. pp. 39-50 (2019)

Authors
Denis Fisette
Université du Québec à Montréal
Abstract
This paper is mainly about Brentano’s commentaries on Ernst Mach in his lectures “Contemporary philosophical questions” which he held one year before he left Austria. I will first identify the main sources of Brentano’s early interests in positivism during his Würzburg period. The second section provides a short overview of Brentano’s 1893– 1894 lectures and his criticism of Comte, Kirchhoff, and Mill. The next sections bear on Brentano’s criticism of Mach’s monism and Brentano’s argument against the reduction of the mental based on his theory of intentionality. The last section is about Brentano’s proposal to replace the identity relation in Mach’s theory of elements by that of intentional correlation. I conclude with a remark on the history of philosophy in Austria.
Keywords Brentano  Mach  Phenomenalism  monism
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